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Improving and Modifying the Steering on a Cub Cadet

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When building a garden tractor for pulling, it's best to remove and disassemble everything. Clean and inspect all the parts for wear, especially the steering parts. This is one area a lot of people overlook. Steering is very important, especially in pulling, and should never be overlooked or neglected. Loose or worn steering parts can be dangerous. A puller may just tighten the steering box adjustments, inspect the tie rod ends and that's it. But there's more to it than just making adjustments...

Custom Steering WheelsReplace that worn, cracked (and not to mention unsightly and plain/boring looking!) OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) steering wheel with an attractive, hot rod/automotive-style, small diameter (10" or 12") custom steering wheel or a chrome spoke steering wheel! A custom or chrome spoke steering wheel will improve the overall appearance of the entire tractor. An adapter hub and steering wheel are available at most auto supply parts stores and on eBay. The only automotive custom steering wheel installation adapter kit I found that fits close on a Cub Cadet steering splined shaft is a universal one made for most General Motors cars and trucks from 1949 to 1994 without telescopic steering. The GM adapter center spline has the correct diameter, but the number of splines are not a perfect fit, so it will need to be gently tapped onto the Cub Cadet steering shaft. Or instead of using an adapter kit, the splined hub from an old GM steering wheel can be used on a Cub Cadet. But the three small holes in the hub will need to be enlarged and tapped for three 1/4" bolts for installation of the custom steering wheel. Or if you don't want to use the GM adapter, the splined hub from an old Cub Cadet steering wheel with the spokes cut off, and a large flat washer (with three tapped 1/4" bolt holes for installation of the custom steering wheel) welded to the adapter can be used.

To install a custom, automotive-style steering wheel on a Cub Cadet or virtually any garden tractor...

  1. First of all, there are several methods to remove the steering wheel from a Cub Cadet or virtually any garden tractor:
    • Install the retaining nut 90% on the threads of the steering shaft and give the nut a short blast with an air chisel.
    • If the above won't work, use a bearing separator with a steering wheel puller or an automotive harmonic balancer/vibration damper puller tool, and to save the old steering wheel, make sure the jaws of a gear puller won't break or crack the plastic.
    • If the above won't work either, then as the last resort, the splined hub will have to be heated or cut off with a torch to get it off the shaft. Be careful not to damage the shaft!
  2. DO NOT USE A [BIG] HAMMER ON THE SHAFT TO REMOVE THE STEERING WHEEL! Doing this could cause the internal threads in the lower part of the aluminum steering box to split (crack the case) or the box might break later, which could be very dangerous in pulling because the tractor could go out of control.
  3. Point the front tires forward, fasten the splined adapter on the steering shaft (with the choice of hardware below), then fasten the steering wheel with the adapter facing in the straight ahead position.
  4. Install the three 1/4" bolts from the bottom up, install the steering wheel, then install stainless steel acorn nuts with a split lock washer to the bolts (studs) to fasten the steering wheel for a nice looking and (rust-proof) professional look. Then to hide the (unsightly) large center retaining nut, install a 15/16" stainless steel lug nut cover. These are made for semi tractor-trailers, which are available at most truck stops and on eBay. Or, to hide the three bolts and retaining nut, install a chrome-plated universal custom automotive horn button (center cap). To do this, machine a large flat washer in a metal lathe so the washer will be slightly larger than the inside diameter of the horn button. Fasten the washer in the steering wheel to the three 1/4" bolts with a couple of stacked smaller flat washers under the large washer. Snap the horn button onto the washer and that's it!


  • The steering assembly for the Cub Cadet "Original" is part # IH-400904-R91. (The MTD Ranch King and Wheel Horse steering assemblies are very similar.)
  • The steering assembly for Cub Cadet models 70, 72, 73, 86, 100, 102, 104, 105, 106, 107, 109, 122, 123, 125, 127, 128, 129, 149, 169, 482, 580, 582, 680, 682, 782, 784, 800, 882, 1000, 1050, 1100, 1200, 1210, 1250, 1282, 1450, 1482, 1512, 1604, 1606, 1650, 1710, 1711 and 1712 is part # 703-1085.
  • The steering assembly for Cub Cadet models 982, 984, 986, 1912 and 1914 is part # 703-0230.
  • The lower steering assembly for Cub Cadet models 1340, 1535 and 1541 is part # 703-1794. (Similar to 618-3050.)
  • The steering assembly for Cub Cadet models 1810 and 1811 (S/N 756,300 - 799,999) is part # 731-3001.
  • The lower steering assembly for Cub Cadet models 1440, 1861 and 1863 is part # 618-3050. (Similar to 703-1794.)
  • All other Cub Cadet garden tractors not listed here have hydraulic steering.

How To Fix Loose or "Sloppy" Steering Parts -

To improve the steering on an IH Cub Cadet, is to remove, disassemble, clean, inspect, repair as necessary, reassemble, adjust, then lubricate the steering box unit with automotive grease through the grease fitting. By the way - adjustments are made much easier with the unit out of the tractor.

Don't Be A Slob When Rebuilding A Steering Unit!

Always be professional whenever building or rebuilding anything! Before reassembling a steering unit, always take the time to provide a neat and absolutely clean work environment. Make sure that your tools, shop/business towels, steering parts and hands are clean, too. Don't allow any dust or dirt to enter the work bench or table, including the steering box and it's parts. If necessary, place the parts on a large, clean cloth or cardboard to keep them clean and organized until they're ready to be installed. The reason everything should be kept as clean as possible is because even the smallest bit of dirt inside a steering box will "grind away" at the internal parts, causing unnecessary wear.


How to remove the steering box/column unit from the tractor -

  1. Disconnect the battery.
  2. Remove the steering wheel. Despite how rusted-on or stuck-in-place it may be, the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) steering wheel MUST come off before the steering box can be removed from the tractor.
  3. Remove the mower deck (if equipped).
  4. Remove the tie-rod end that's connected to the pitman arm plate (steering lever).
  5. Remove the two 9/16" bolts that fastens the steering box to the cross-member of the frame.
  6. The steering unit then slides out from under the tractor.

How to disassemble the steering unit -

  1. Remove the pitman arm plate and shaft.
  2. Remove the cotter pin from the end cap.
  3. Remove the end cap with a large flat screwdriver or flat ratchet tool by turning it counterclockwise.
  4. Pull or slide the shaft out of the steering box. Use caution not to lose any of the ball bearings!
  5. Clean and inspect everything. Observe the metal bearing retainers for cracks or breakage. Replace if necessary.

How to reassemble the steering unit -

  1. Install the ball bearings in the nylon retainers. Apply automotive grease on the balls to hold them in the nylon retainers so they won't fall out upon installation on the steering shaft.
  2. Install the ball bearings on the steering shaft with the metal retainers to hold them in place.
  3. Carefully slide the shaft through the steering box and column until it's bottomed out. Make sure no balls have fallen out of their retainers.
  4. Install the adjusting plug, and tighten it until it's bottomed out. With Vise-Grips on the splined end of the steering shaft, rotate the shaft in full rotation to assure smoothness with no looseness or binding.
  5. If the shaft feels like it's somewhat difficult to rotate in either direction, back the adjusting plug off until one of the notches match the hole for the cotter pin, and rotate the shaft in full rotation again. If it rotates smoothly with no looseness or binding, install the cotter pin. Back off the adjusting plug until the notch is against the cotter pin.
  6. Pump fresh automotive grease in the steering box and on/around the steering worm gear. Fill it up with grease.
  7. If it isn't already installed, install the steering cam follower and locknut in the pitman arm plate.
  8. Install the pitman arm plate and shaft, flat thrust washer and one adjusting nut.
  9. Tighten down the adjusting nut until it's bottomed out and back it off an 1/8 of a turn. Install the other jam/lock nut and tighten it against the adjusting nut, making sure the adjusting nut doesn't turn.
  10. Tighten down the steering cam follower until it's bottomed out in the steering worm gear groove and back it off about an 1/8 of a turn.
  11. With Vise-Grips on the splined end of the steering shaft, rotate the shaft in full rotation. If binding occurs or if it feels a little too loose, adjust the steering cam follower until it feels satisfactory. But make the adjustment so the steering is a little "stiff", but not too tight. Because somehow, if it's adjusted too tight, it will stay too tight, and if it's adjusted "loose", it will loosen up more overtime. There is no way to prevent this. If the shaft rotates smoothly with no looseness or binding, tighten the jam/lock nut, making sure the steering cam follower doesn't turn.
  12. Pump a few ounces of fresh automotive chassis lube through the grease fitting to make sure the unit is full.
  13. That's it! The steering unit is now assembled, lubricated and adjusted!

NOTE: If new internal steering box parts are needed in a rebuild, you can get them at virtually any Cub Cadet dealer. Most John Deere lawn & garden service centers and parts stores offers the same parts for the steering box in their models 110, 112, 120, 140, 200, 210, 212, 214, 216, 300, 312, 316 and 317. The steering box in these tractors, which is made by ROSS, are very similar to the ones used in the IH Cub Cadet, except for the mounting holes. The internal parts are basically the same, but new John Deere parts are more expensive than new Cub Cadet parts.


How to Fix a Worn OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Steering Cam Follower (Stud) -

Chuck the Steering Cam Follower in a metal lathe and machine the conical end until the worn part is gone and it's conical-shaped again, but maintain the same angle. Or fabricate a new pin from a 1/2"-20 NF or 9/16"-18 NF fine thread grade 8 bolt with the head cut off. Be sure to heat-treat (harden) the conical end!


Ever had the steering column (long tube) get pulled out of the steering box on a Cub Cadet? Well, doing the below will guarantee that it will never get pulled out again -

  1. Remove the steering box/column assembly from the tractor.
  2. Disassemble the entire steering box assembly.
  3. If the tube fits somewhat loose in the steering box, it can be expanded with use of an automotive exhaust pipe expander/spreader tool. (Available at virtually any auto parts store and on eBay.)
  4. Apply Clear RTV Silicone Adhesive Sealant on the tube to prevent water and dirt from entering the steering box, then install it in the box until it bottoms out.
  5. Drill four 1/8" holes spaced 90° apart through the steering box and into the tube.
  6. Install 1/8" diameter x 3/8" length pop-rivets to permanently secure the tube to the steering box.
  7. If the upper part of the steering box is cracked where the tube goes into, install a 2" worm gear hose clamp, or better yet, use a 1-7/8" automotive exhaust pipe U-bolt clamp to close the crack up, and secure the tube to the box as described above.
  8. Clean the metal drilling from the steering box and tube, and reassemble the unit using automotive grease and make the necessary adjustments.

NOTE: If the upper part of the steering tube becomes damaged from removing the steering wheel, it can be straightened back to its original shape with the automotive exhaust pipe expander/spreader tool and a 2-3 lb. hammer. The internal steering shaft must be removed, so the tool will work.


OEM-Quality Ball Joint & Aircraft-Quality Tie Rod EndsHow to "Tighten" a Worn Tie Rod End -

  1. Remove the tie rod end from the tractor.
  2. Thread a grade 8, 3/8" fine thread bolt into the tie rod and securely clamp the bolt in a bench vise.
  3. With the base of the tie rod resting on the jaws of the vise (to prevent bending the bolt), pound the end of the tie rod end with a medium size hammer until the ball is snug in the socket.
  4. Lubricate the ball with ordinary motor oil.
  5. Reinstall tie rod end on tractor, adjust toe-in.

If a tie rod end is badly worn and performing the above doesn't "tighten" it, and you have doubts that it may fail in the future, then by all means, replace it with a known good used one or a new one. Actually, for heavy yard work or for a pulling tractor, it's best to use aircraft-quality ball-joint ends (Heim joints) with a flat washer and rubber dust/dirt shields installed.

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If you need any of the parts or services listed below Ê, please contact A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises | 1501 W. Old Plank Rd. | Columbia, MO 65203-9136 USA | Phone: 1-573-256-0313 (shop) | 1-573-881-7229 (cell). Please call Monday-Friday (except Holidays), 9am to 5pm, Central time zone. If no answer, please try again later. (When speaking with Brian, please be patient because I stutter.) A-1 Miller's shop is open to the public from 9am to 5pm, including weekends (except Holidays). Please call before coming so I'll be here waiting for your arrival. Fax: 1-573-449-7347. E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.com. Directions to our shop | 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO - Google Maps or Map of 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO by MapQuest. Please click here to place an order.
3/8" Diameter x 1-1/2" length Spiral Pins for OEM 3-pin clutch drive plate and [narrow frame Cub Cadet] drag link steering arm. Hardened carbon steel. Minimum Rockwell hardness is C42. NOTE: The holes in the drag link arm and spindle may need to be drilled exactly to 3/8" (.375") for this pin to fit. $3.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Steering Box Assembly Rebuild Service for all models of IH-built and MTD-built (CCC) Cub Cadet "Original", Cub Cadet, Ford LGT, Jacobsen, John Deere, Massey Ferguson, MTD Farm King, Snapper, Wheel Horse and various other makes and models of garden tractors with the CCC or ROSS aluminum housing steering box. Includes: disassemble entire steering assembly, clean and inspect all parts, replace or repair anything that's worn, reassemble, lubricate, then make necessary adjustments to all moving parts so it'll provide many years of trouble-free service.
  • Steering Box Assembly Rebuild Service. $35.00 minimum labor. New parts, if needed, are extra charge.
    • Add $12.00 for my 5/8" "Easy Steer" Upgrade Kit. (For steering boxes with a 5/8" diameter pitman arm stud.)
    • Add $25.00 for my 3/4" "Easy Steer" Upgrade Kit. (For steering boxes with a 3/4" diameter pitman arm stud.)

Rebuilt IH Cub Cadet Steering Box Assemblies. Fits all IH-built Cub Cadet garden tractors, except Cub Cadet "Original". (When available.)

  • $125.00 each with rebuildable core trade-in, plus shipping & handling.
  • $150.00 each outright, plus shipping & handling.

Rebuilt IH Cub Cadet "Original" Steering Box Assemblies. (When available.)

  • $150.00 each with rebuildable core trade-in, plus shipping & handling.
  • $175.00 each outright, plus shipping & handling.
Lower Steering Box Bearing Cup (Race) for all models of IH-built and MTD-built (CCC) Cub Cadet, Ford LGT, Jacobsen, John Deere, Massey Ferguson, MTD Farm King, Snapper, Wheel Horse and various other makes and models of garden tractors with the CCC or ROSS aluminum housing steering box, including Cub Lo-Boy models 154, 184 and 185. Same part in the kit below, only offered separately. OEM Cub Cadet part # 903-1029.
  • $5.40 each, plus shipping & handling.
Lower Steering Box Plastic Retainer/Ball Assembly for all models of IH-built and MTD-built (CCC) Cub Cadet, Ford LGT, Jacobsen, John Deere, Massey Ferguson, MTD Farm King, Snapper, Wheel Horse and various other makes and models of garden tractors with the CCC or ROSS aluminum housing steering box, including Cub Lo-Boy models 154, 184 and 185. Plastic retainer not available separately.
  • 5/16" steel ball only. Not sold separately by Cub Cadet. .15¢ each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Kit w/8 balls and retainer. OEM Cub Cadet part # 941-3021. $23.40 each, plus shipping & handling.
Lower Steering Box Bearing/Race Kit for all models of IH-built and MTD-built (CCC) Cub Cadet, Ford LGT, Jacobsen, John Deere, Massey Ferguson, MTD Farm King, Snapper, Wheel Horse and various other makes and models of garden tractors with the CCC or ROSS aluminum housing steering box, including Cub Lo-Boy models 154, 184 and 185. Kit includes (16) 5/16" diameter steel balls, two nylon retainers and two .870" i.d. x 1.500" o.d. hardened steel races. FYI - I've researched all models of the IH-built and MTD-built Cub Cadet steering boxes, and they all use the same bearing/race kit and all dimensions are the same. Replaces John Deere part # AM31924. OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-71930-C91.
  • $15.00 each kit, plus shipping & handling.
Dust/Grease Seal for Cub Cadet, Ford LGT, Jacobsen, John Deere, Massey Ferguson, MTD Farm King, Snapper, Wheel Horse and various other makes and models of garden tractors with the CCC or ROSS aluminum housing steering box. Made of foam rubber. OEM Cub Cadet part # 923-3039.
  • $5.70 each, plus shipping & handling.
New Cam Followers (Steering Pins) for IH- and MTD-built Cub Cadet, Ford LGT, Jacobsen, John Deere, Massey Ferguson, MTD Farm King, Snapper, Wheel Horse and various other makes and models of garden tractors with the CCC or ROSS aluminum housing steering box.

1/2" Diameter Cam Followers -

  • Fits all Cub Cadet Original's, and Cub Cadet models 70, 71, 100, 102, certain 122's and 123's, 128, 129, 149 and 169.
    • Aftermarket/Universal Fit. Hardened, heat-treated steel for long wear. Not just machined grade 8 bolt material. $22.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
    • OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-379992-R1. $53.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Fits Cub Cadet models 72, 73, 86, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, certain 122's and 123's, 124, 125, 126, 127, 147, 482, 582, 682, 782, 800, 1000, 1200, 1250, 1450 and 1650.
    • OEM Cub Cadet part # IH-62806-C2. $37.25 each, plus shipping & handling.

9/16" Diameter Cam Follower -

  • Fits Cub Cadet models 982, 984, 986, 1050, 1204, 1210, 1211, 1340, 1440, 1535, 1541, 1641, 1806, 1810, 1811, 1812, 1860, 1861, 1863, 1912 and 1914. OEM Cub Cadet part # 911-3149A.
    • $29.20 each, plus shipping & handling.

Machine your OEM cam follower (in my metal lathe) to remove worn area.

  • $5.00 labor, plus return shipping & handling.
"Easy Steer" Upgrade Kit for IH- and MTD-built Cub Cadet, John Deere, Massey Ferguson, Ford LGT, Jacobsen, MTD Farm King, Wheel Horse and various other makes and models of garden tractors with the CCC or ROSS aluminum housing steering box. Provides slightly less effort when steering tractor. Each kit includes new high quality pre-lubricated sealed thrust ball bearing and nylon-insert lock nut. Replaces OEM double jam nuts and thrust washer on 5/8" or 3/4" diameter pitman arm stud. Install bearing with shielding (wording on bearing) against steering box, and tighten nut to remove looseness, then back off until pitman arm rotates freely without binding.
  • For models with 5/8" pitman arm stud. $12.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
  • For models with 3/4" pitman arm stud. $25.00 per kit, plus shipping & handling.
Bronze. For models with metal cap on steering column. 3/4" i.d. x 1.003" o.d. x 3/4" height x 1-1/4" o.d. flange.
  • $2.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

Graphite. For models without metal cap on steering column. 3/4" i.d. x 1-3/8" o.d. x 9/16" width x 1-1/2" o.d. flange. (Same as wheel bushing below.)

  • $3.50 each, plus shipping & handling.

Flanged ball bearing. For models without metal cap on steering column. Provides slightly less effort when steering tractor. These have hardened, heated-treated steel races and balls, sealed on both sides and pre-packed with grease so will last longer. Size: 3/4" i.d. x 1-3/8" o.d. x 1/2" width x 1-1/2" o.d. flange. (Same as heavy duty wheel bearing.) Part # 150-020.

  • $8.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Steering Wheel Retaining Nut. Nylon insert zinc-plated steel locknut; will not loosen under normal circumstances. 5/8-18 NF threads. Fits Cub Cadet and others.
  • $2.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Small Outside Diameter 5/8" i.d. Stainless Steel Flat Washer. Will not rust. Goes under retaining nut to evenly distribute load. Fits Cub Cadet and others.
  • $1.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
Grease Fittings with 1/4-28 NF Tapered Threads. Use a 14-28 NF tap to install new fitting.
  • Straight fitting. Replaces Cub Cadet part # 737-3001. .50¢ each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 45º fitting. Replaces Cub Cadet part # IH-273360. $1.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • 90º fitting. .75¢ each, plus shipping & handling.
New Tie Rods and Ball Joint Ends | Please contact me if you're interested in any of these parts or services.

Tie rod ends with rubber dust seal. Has a 3/8-24 NF stud and 3/8-24 NF right-hand thread hole. Most common direct replacements found on most lawn and garden tractors. Can be used on most garden tractors, go-karts and custom automotive transmission shifter linkage ends.

  • Heavy duty, high quality aftermarket. $5.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Cub Cadet part # 923-3018. $12.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

Heavy duty tie rod end with rubber dust seal. Has a 3/8-24 NF stud and 3/8-24 NF left-hand thread hole. Can be used on garden tractors, go-karts and custom automotive transmission shifter linkage ends.

  • $10.50 each, plus shipping & handling.


Heavy duty, aircraft quality, ball joint end (Heim joint). Has a 3/8-24 NF right-hand female threaded hole and a 3/8" i.d. hole. Can be used on most garden tractors, go-karts and custom automotive transmission shifter linkage ends. Replaces Cub Cadet part # 923-3018. NOTE: Ball joint ends are required in aircraft and heavy duty machinery because they're much stronger than ordinary tie rod ends. They're a direct replacement for tie rod ends on most lawn and garden equipment and all that's needed is a 3/8" minimum grade 5 bolt to secure it to the steering lever. And these do not come with a dust/dirt shield, so they'll wear more when used for general yard work if not protected with a rubber seal. And when used with the seals below Ê, apply automotive grease to the ball in the Heim joints to help them operate smoother and last longer.

  • $11.00 each, plus shipping & handling. Part # 170-166

Heavy duty ball joint end (Heim joint). Has a 3/8-24 NF left-hand female 3/8" threaded hole and a 3/8" i.d. hole. Extremely strong! Can be used on garden tractors, go-karts and custom automotive transmission shifter linkage ends. NOTE: Ball joint ends are required in aircraft and heavy duty machinery because they're much stronger than ordinary tie rod ends. They're a direct replacement for tie rod ends on most lawn and garden equipment and all that's needed is a 3/8" minimum grade 5 bolt to secure it to the steering lever. And these do not come with a dust/dirt shield, so they'll wear more when used for general yard work if not protected. And when used with the seals below Ê, apply automotive grease to the ball in the Heim joints to help them operate smoother and last longer.

  • $11.00 each, plus shipping & handling. Part # 116-844

Rubber Dust/Dirt Shields for Heim joints above. These are a neoprene rubber seal bonded to an aircraft quality washer. Extends the life of Heim joints by keeping dirt, debris and moisture out of the spherical ball. These fit on both sides of the spherical ball.

  • $12.00 per pair, plus shipping & handling.

Other sizes and styles of tie rod ends and Heim joints are available. Available in various styles, sizes and materials. Please contact us if you're interested in any of these parts or services.

Fabricate steering link for your tractor. $20.00 each for parts & labor, plus shipping & handling. Depending on customer's preference, price does not include tie rod ends or ball joint ends (Heim joints).


How to Fix a Loose-Fitting Drag Link Arm -

Drag Link ArmTo fix a loose fitting drag link arm on the narrow frame Cub Cadet (models 70, 71, 72, 73, 100, 102, 104, 105, 106, 107, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126 and 147), the hub must be "clamped" to the spindle. To do this...

  1. Remove the drag link arm from the spindle.
  2. Use a hacksaw to cut a couple of slots in the hub 90° in relation to the roll-pin holes. Cut the slots about 90% down into the hub.
  3. Place the arm on the spindle and drill through all three (roll-pin) holes with a 3/8" drill bit.
  4. Acquire a hardened (grade 8) 3/8" bolt, split lock washer and hardened (grade 8) nut. Make sure the bolt has an unthreaded (shouldered) portion the same width as the diameter of the hub.
  5. Install the bolt in the hub and spindle, then torque the nut to 35 ft. lbs. so the hub is squeezed onto the spindle. NOTE: clamping the hub may weaken the factory spot weld. Therefore, the hub may need to be re-welded to the arm.


How to Determine the OEM or Fabricated Length of the Tie Rod and/or Drag Link on Any Particular Make and Model of Garden Tractor:

How to Lengthen the Drag Link (link that goes between pitman arm to steering arm on spindle) When the Front Axle is Repositioned Forward:

  1. Drag link (goes from steering box to axle)Measure the distance the front axle was moved forward. Make a note of the measurement.
  2. Center the steering wheel with the pitman arm facing straight down.
  3. With the tires facing forward, measure the center to center distance between the holes in the pitman arm and drag link arm. Make a note of this measurement.
  4. Cut the OEM drag link in half as shown in the drawing to the right.
  5. Acquire some 1/2" i.d. x 5/8" o.d. steel tubing of the distance the front axle was moved forward, plus 6" lengther than the distance. This is important!
  6. Slide 3" of each cut end of the drag link rod inside the tubing. For strength and minimize flexibility, make sure there's at least 3" of the rod inside the tubing on each end. If the rod won't fit, it may need to be ground down and/or pressed in.
  7. Adjust the overall length of the lengthened drag link by sliding the rods back and forth in the tubing until the drag link has the added difference of how far the axle have been moved forward.
  8. Weld the tubing to the rods. But first, double check the front tires for facing forward and centering of the drag link arm (steering wheel)!
  9. Grind the weld smooth, paint and that's it!



IH and MTD Cub Cadet Garden Tractor Models That Share the Same Front Axle -

Front Axle for IH Cub Cadet Narrow Frame Models 70, 71, 72, 73, 100, 102, 104, 105, 106, 107, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127 and 147. (Part # 959-3011)


Front Axle for IH Cub Cadet Wide and Spread Frame Models 86, 108, 109, 128, 129, 149, 169, 582, 582 Special, 680, 682, 782, 800, 882, 1000, 1050, 1100, 1200, 1204, 1210, 1211, 1250, 1282, 1450, 1512, 1535 and 1650. (Part # 759-3270)


Front Axle for IH and MTD Cub Cadet Spread Frame Models 982, 984, 986, 1572, 1772, 1782, 1872, 1882, 1912, 1914, 2072, 2082, 2084, 2086, 2182 and 2284. (Part # 759-3271)


Front Axle for MTD Cub Cadet Spread Frame Models 1340, 1535, 1541, 1860 and 1862. (Part # 759-3549)


Front Axle for MTD Cub Cadet Spread Frame Models 1440, 1861, 1863 and 1864. (Part # 719-3100)


Reinforcing the Spindle Shafts (Steering Knuckles) on Cub Cadet Models 70, 71, 72, 73, 100, 102, 104, 105, 106, 107, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 147, 982, 984, 986, 1340, 1440, 1535, 1541, 1572, 1772, 1782, 1861, 1863, 1864, 1872, 1882, 1912, 1914, 2072, 2082, 2084, 2086, 2182, 2284, 1860 or 1862 -

If the front tires on the above Cub Cadet models look "dilapidated" (the tops of the tires tilt inward), this means the spindle shafts are bent from doing too many ground-pounding wheelies and weren't reinforced. If the spindle shafts are bent, to prevent them from getting bent again...

  1. Heat the spindle shafts with an oxy-acetylene torch in a hydraulic press to reposition them so the tires will set perpendicular with the ground. Or re-angle the spindle shafts so the tops of the tires will tilt slightly outward for that "tough" look.
  2. Install the spindles on the axle, then the tires, and stand back from the front of the tractor to visually check that the tires are positioned perpendicular with the ground. Adjust if necessary.
  3. Remove spindles if necessary and weld a 1/4" x 3/4" x 1-3/4" piece of mild steel (brace) in the bend section.

To fix worn holes for the spindles in the axle itself on a narrow frame Cub Cadet, the holes will need to be bored or reamed out and a couple of thin-wall bronze bushings pressed-in for the top and bottom ends of the hole.


How to Reposition the Front End 2-3/8" Lower on Cub Cadet Models 86, 108, 109, 128, 129, 149, 169, 582, 582 Special, 680, 682, 782, 800, 882, 1000, 1050, 1100, 1200, 1204, 1210, 1211, 1250, 1282, 1450, 1512, 1535 and 1650 -

  1. Acquire a couple of grade 5 bolts, 3/4" diameter x 5" length.
  2. Measure from under the bolt head out 3-1/4", and cut off the bolt, creating a couple of stub shafts that's 3-1/4" length when measured from under the head. (Best to use a small horizontal bandsaw. Cut the threaded end off, but leave the head of the bolt intact.)
  3. Chuck each stub shaft in the jaws of a metal lathe and machine the bolt head so it'll be round. Shorten the height of the head to about 3/8" so it will not make contact with the axle when installed.
  4. Turn the stub shaft around (end for end) in the chuck and bore a hole in the end of each shaft for a 3/8-16 NC wheel retaining bolt and flat washer.
  5. Remove the steering knuckles from the axle.
  6. Cut off the original spindle shafts flush with the steering knuckle.
  7. Drill a 3/4" hole (for the new spindle/stub shafts) 2-3/8" from the center of the original spindle shaft.
  8. Install the stub shafts in the 3/4" holes and securely weld the rounded/shortened bolt heads to the backside of each steering knuckle. For the tires to set perpendicular with the ground, before welding, make sure the shafts are positioned perpendicular (90°) to the flat on the knuckles!
  9. Install the steering knuckles on the axle, then the tires, and stand back from the front of the tractor to visually check that the tires are positioned perpendicular with the ground. Adjust if necessary.

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If you're interested in any of the parts or services below, please contact A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises | 1501 W. Old Plank Rd. | Columbia, MO 65203-9136 USA | Phone: 1-573-256-0313 (shop) | 1-573-881-7229 (cell). Please call Monday-Friday (except Holidays), 9am to 5pm, Central time zone. If no answer, please try again later. (When speaking with Brian, please be patient because I stutter.) A-1 Miller's shop is open to the public from 9am to 5pm, including weekends (except Holidays). Please call before coming so I'll be here waiting for your arrival. Fax: 1-573-449-7347. E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.com. Directions to our shop | 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO - Google Maps or Map of 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO by MapQuest. Click here for more of my parts and services. | Please click here to place an order.
Do-it-yourself weld-in drop-spindle shaft kits to lower (drop) the front end as much as 2-3/8" for better weight transfer in competition pulling on wide and spread frame Cub Cadet models 86, 108, 109, 128, 129, 149, 169, 582, 582 Special, 680, 682, 782, 800, 882, 1000, 1050, 1100, 1200, 1204, 1210, 1211, 1250, 1282, 1450, 1512, 1535 or 1650. Can also be used for constructing custom front axles, such as for a mini-rod pulling tractor. Available in 3/4" or 1" diameter. To install, cut off original spindle shafts flush with steering knuckle, and drill a 3/4" hole in steering knuckles ± 2-3/8" higher than where original shafts was. Replacement spindle shafts will need to be positioned perpendicular (exact 90° angle) with steering knuckle then securely weld to backside of knuckle for non-interference with spacing of rim.

The spindle shafts shown to the right ð and listed below includes two 1/8" cotter pins and flat washers and have a cross-drilled hole toward end of shaft to retain wheel. (Use with hub covers for nice appearance.) Each stub length is 3-9/16" (for wheels with 3" width hub), but available in any length to accommodate the width of the hub in your front wheels.

  • 3/4" diameter. $20.00 per set of two (1 pair), plus shipping & handling.
  • 1" diameter. $30.00 per set of two (1 pair), plus shipping & handling.

The spindle shafts shown to the right ð and listed below Ê have a 3/8-16 NC threaded hole in end of shaft to retain wheel with bolt/flat washer (not included). Each stub length is 3-1/4" (for wheels with 3" width hub), but available in any length to accommodate the width of the hub in your front wheels.

  • 3/4" diameter. $30.00 per set of two (1 pair), plus shipping & handling.
  • 1" diameter. $40.00 per set of two (1 pair), plus shipping & handling.
Installation Service -

Install weld-in spindle shafts in steering knuckles to lower front of tractor ± 2-3/8" for your wide or spread frame Cub Cadet model 86, 108, 109, 128, 129, 149, 169, 582, 582 Special, 680, 682, 782, 800, 882, 1000, 1050, 1100, 1200, 1204, 1210, 1211, 1250, 1282, 1450, 1512, 1535 or 1650. An innovative concept by Brian Miller, because nobody else advertise this service.

  • Spindle shafts with cotter pin. $40.00 parts and labor for two spindles, plus return shipping & handling.
  • Spindle shafts for bolt/washer. $50.00 parts and labor for two spindles, plus return shipping & handling.
Installation Service -

Weld brace to reinforce spindle shafts for your Cub Cadet model Cub Cadet model 70, 71, 72, 73, 100, 102, 104, 105, 106, 107, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 147, 982, 984, 986, 1340, 1440, 1535, 1541, 1572, 1772, 1782, 1861, 1863, 1864, 1872, 1882, 1912, 1914, 2072, 2082, 2084, 2086, 2182, 2284, 1860 or 1862. An innovative concept by Brian Miller, because nobody else advertise this service.

  • $25.00 parts and labor for two spindles, plus return shipping & handling.


A Pivoting Axle Vs. a Solid-Mounted Axle for Competition Pulling?

I've seen modified garden tractors with a swivel front axle and I've seen some modifieds with a solid-mounted axle. And I noticed that one doesn't pull any better than the other. So it seems it's just the pullers' preference if he or she wants a swivel or solid front axle. And about the only way to fix the looseness of the center pivoting pin hole is to have the axle bored for installation of thin wall bronze bushings, like the ones used for king pins in truck front axles.


How to Repair Worn Pivot Pin Holes for the Front Axle -

Sometimes the pivoting pin in the center of the front axle will rust in place and then the pin will pivot in the holes in the support braces. When this happens, overtime the holes will become oblong and the axle will become unstable, causing sloppy steering. Well, to repair a tractor with worn pivot holes like the ones in the picture below...

  1. Drill or ream the holes in the braces to exactly 1.000".
  2. Fabricate a steel reducer sleeve bushing (spacer) that measures 3/4" i.d. x 1.003" o.d. for a press-fit.
  3. Press each bushing in the holes of the braces. Make sure the bushings are aligned properly so the pin will rotate freely to prevent binding.
  4. Tack weld the edge of each bushing on the outside of the braces.
  5. The center line of the OEM hole in the bracket is 1-1/8" from the frame. But this will be altered due to the offset of the bushing.

If the center hole in an axle is worn, this can be repaired by first boring the hole for a press-fit steel sleeve and then bore the sleeve so a new center pin (or grade 8 or stainless steel bolt) will fit snug in it. Or, you can also bore the hole in the axle and support bracket with a 20 millimeter diameter (equal to .7874") drill bit or reamer and install a hardened 20 mm bolt. It'll be a lot less work to do just do this.


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A-1 Miller's Fully Computerized Stuska Water Brake Engine Dynamometer (Dyno) Service!

For performance testing engines up to 200hp at speeds up to 12,000 RPM. The only engine dyno service in Missouri for Kohler pulling engines! Now set up and fully operational, customers can rent dyno time, fine tune and make adjustments or changes to their engines and print-out the results.

Engine Dyno Rental Fee: $30.00 per hour run time. No setup fee for Cub Cadet engines with a 3- or 6-pin/stud clutch driver. An adapter may need to be needed or fabricated for other makes and models of engines.


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